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Tribute to former Plipdeco director

Published: 
Friday, January 15, 2016
Cancer claims attorney, 62
Janette James-Sebastien

Director of the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Company (Plipdeco), attorney Janette James-Sebastien, who passed away earlier this month was described as a great human being by her friend of 40 years Deborah Moore-Miggins, attorney-at-law.

James-Sebastien’s funeral service was held yesterday at Faith Assembly, the officiating pastor was Rev Kernan Lee. She died of cancer at the age of 62.

“Janette was a more loving, devoted, supportive and trustworthy friend one could not find,” Moore-Miggins said. Reminiscing on the last moment they shared, Moore-Miggins described James-Sebastien as a true and faithful friend, who was humble and unassuming and who took the time to be a friend. “I last saw Janette in October 2015 when I went to the Arima Magistrates’ Court for a matter. I did not tell her I would have been there and she reproached me gently about that. “She, however, waited for me to finish and she accompanied me in the maxi taxi to Piarco Airport. We discussed so many things on that day as we had not had much time to do this before. We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company for about three hours. As I was about to leave, she said, ‘Well, Madam, you can’t complain. Ah nearly put you right on the plane and all.’”   

James-Sebastien’s was Moore-Miggins’ agent in Trinidad for service of legal documents and handled cases in Trinidad for her when she could not attend court from Tobago. “Sometimes it was at great inconvenience to her but she always found a way to do so. She enjoyed the law and liked to discuss controversial cases. 

“Her analysis of the run-off constitutional amendment and subsequent court action, the recent election petition case and the Jack Warner cases was, to me, quite masterly and thought-provoking,” Moore-Miggins said.

Both friends first met in 1975 at Cave Hill, Barbados, where they both pursued their study of law. James-Sebastien was a year or two ahead of Moore-Miggins but both were drawn together by their mutual interest in life and current affairs, calypsoes and Carnival  and, of course, the law of the Caribbean countries.   

“She learned that my love interest, who was later to become my husband, was a Guyanese. She herself was part Guyanese, part Trinidadian. 

“We became unshakeable friends from then. Janette persuaded me to do my in-service law training in Guyana in 1976 and made all the arrangements for me to attend the law chambers of Mr Clarence Hughes.

“The two months I spent in Guyana went a long way to cement my relationship with my future husband. She even arranged for her brother, Winfield “Trini” James, to check for me whenever I went to Guyana.  

“He, too, has been a solid friend of my family for these 40 years. Janette was an organiser. She would organise your life if you allowed her. She had a generosity of spirit that was awesome and touching. Her love for others and her boundless energy would at times make one feel dizzy,” Moore-Miggins said.

“The best tribute we her colleagues and friends can pay to her memory now is to find a way to deal with the stress of our daily lives. Women, let us take time to relax and commit ourselves to doing regular mammograms. This cancer seemed to have been quite aggressive,” she said.